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The World of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has helped transform music, literature, pop culture, and even politics. The World of Bob Dylan chronicles a lifetime of creative invention that has made a global impact. Leading rock and pop critics and music scholars address themes and topics central to Dylan’s life and work: the Blues, his religious faith, Civil Rights, Gender, Race, and American and World literature. Incorporating a rich array of new archival material from never before accessed archives, The World of Bob Dylan offers a comprehensive, uniquely informed and wholly fresh account of the songwriter, artist, filmmaker, and Nobel Laureate whose unique voice has permanently reshaped our cultural landscape.

“What a great start to the ‘archive phase’ of the ongoing Bob Dylan conversation. This is the Dylan Studies we all need in place of windy honorifics or sweeping dismissals of whole aspects of the phenomenon. In their place, a series of core samples into the materials at hand. The splendidly divergent chapters in this collection reverberate much as the different aspects of Dylan’s career cast glints of meaning, one to the next.”

– Jonathan Lethem

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sean Latham

I. Creative Life:
1. A Chronology of Bob Dylan’s Life by Kevin Dettmar and Sean Latham
2. The Biographies by Andrew Muir
3. Songwriting by Sean Latham
4. The Singles: A Playlist for Framing Dylan’s Recording Art by Keith Negus

II. Musical Contexts:
5. Folk Music by Ronald D. Cohen
6. The Blues: ‘Kill Everybody Ever Done Me Wrong’ by Greil Marcus
7. Gospel Music by Gayle Wald
8. Country Music: Dylan, Cash, and the Projection of Authenticity by Leigh H. Edwards
9. Rock Music by Ira Wells
10. Roots Music: Born in a Basement by Kim Ruehl
11. The Great American Songbook: ‘Better Duck Down the [Tin Pan] Alley Way, Lookin’ for a New Friend’ by Larry Starr

III. Cultural Contexts:
12. American Literature by Florence Dore
13. World Literature by Anne-Marie Mai
14. The Beats by Steven Belletto
15. Theatre by Damian A. Carpenter
16. Visual Arts: Goya’s Kiss by Raphael Falco
17. Borrowing by Kevin Dettmar
18. Judaism: Saturnine Melancholy and Dylan’s Jewish Gnosis by Elliot R. Wolfson
19. Christianity: An Exegesis of Modern Times by Andrew McCarron

IV. Political Contexts:
20. The Civil Rights Movement by Will Kaufman
21. The Counterculture by Michael J. Kramer
22. Gender and Sexuality: Bob Dylan’s Body by Ann Powers
23. Justice by Lisa O’Neill-Sanders

V. Reception and Legacy:
24. The Bob Dylan Brand by Devon Powers
25. The Nobel Prize: The Dramaturgy of Consecration by James F. English
26. Stardom and Fandom by David R. Shumway
27. The Bob Dylan Archive® by Mark Davidson

  • Edited by Sean Latham, University of Tulsa
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: April 2021
  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online ISBN: 9781108583398

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